Modesto Bee, Jan. 17, 2007

APRIL 16, 1910 - JAN. 11, 2007

Harry P. Schmidt passed away at Mercy Hospital, Merced, CA, Thursday, January 11, 2007, at the age of 96.

Harry was born on a grain ranch in Gustine, California, to Danish immigrant parents. He attended a one room country school. In 1922, the family moved to a large grain ranch east of Turlock where they farmed with horses and mules. In 1932, during the worst of the Depression, he returned to Gustine to operate the dairy. Times were rough, requiring long days and sometimes nights of hard work.

He became active in various community organizations such as the Gustine Rotary Club, Grange, Farm Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce as well as St. James Lutheran Church, Newman.

In 1936, he married May C. Jensen, daughter of another Gustine pioneer family. They had three children, George, Jean and Bill. In 1945, Harry became a Merced County Supervisor, a position he held for 28 years. During that time, he served as a director of the Stanislausl Merced/Madera Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Ahwahnee. He served on numerous committees for the County, State and Federal Government. He was President of the California State Supervisors Association, Director of the National Supervisors Association and Director of the Merced County Mutual Insurance Company.

Upon retirement in 1972, Harry and May moved to the Coarsegold/Oakhurst area where he was active in the Community Church and the Oakhurst Lutheran Church. He was always prepared with a story or a joke.

Harry was preceded in death by May, his wife of 66 years, his daughter, Jean Schmidt and great-grandson, Tommy Schmidt. He is survived by his son and daughter- in-law, George and Doris Schmidt of Coarsegold; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Frances Schmidt of Winton; sister Marie Nielsen of Hughson; grandchildren Tom Schmidt, Jon Schmidt, Cathy White, Chris Schmidt, Curtis Schmidt, Caralyn Mendoza, Claire Patereau; great-grandchildren Nicholas Schmidt, Justine and Jade White, Christen Schmidt, Katrina, Jocelyn and Eric Schmidt, CJ, Julia and Colby Patereau and Nelson and Rebecca Mendoza. He is also survived by his American Field Service Exchange Student son, Peter Steckel and his wife, Verna, of Kathy, Texas.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 20, 2007, at the Oakhurst Lutheran Church in Oakhurst, CA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oakhurst Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 39255 Black Road, Oakhurst, CA 93644.